What Does It Cost to Live Near an "L" Stop?

What Does It Cost to Live Near an "L" Stop? (Source: wikimedia.commons)

It wouldn’t be Chicago without the L. The elevated train system that runs through the alleys and across the river of the Windy City is as iconic as Wrigley Field or deep dish pizza. Its towering metal pillars and creaking brown boards are as much a part of the fabric of our city’s history and infrastructure as Sears Tower or the Field Museum.

And where eating half of a Lou Malnati’s pizza will leave you feeling incapable of moving an inch, the L will help get you where you want to go, and fast. While plenty of people drive, walk, and bike around Chicago, thousands of others rely on the CTA’s crown jewel to get them around the city, day in and day out.

With this in mind, plenty of Chicago residents seek out a home in close proximity to an L stop. But does it cost more to live close to public transit in the city? Are some locations more pricey than others – and if so, by how much?

Seattle real estate search firm Estately pondered these exact questions not too long ago, using realty data – namely six months' worth of sales prices, from which they gathered the price per square-foot of residences within a half mile of each station - to map out the average median price of living near each L stop in the city. You can take a look at their excellent infographic here, via Curbed Chicago.

The biggest takeaways? In all, the study’s findings aren’t too shocking: The closer you get to downtown, the more you can expect to pay. Homes situated in the Near North Side – specifically, around Grand Red Line and Merchandise Mart (Brown and Purple lines) – rate highest for price per square foot. The cheapest prices are to be found on the South and West sides of the city, largely along the Green and Pink lines.

With that in mind, however, you can see some less obvious trends emerge from the map, as well – mostly in terms of line averages. As Estately points out, the Orange line actually boasts the highest median price per square foot ($331), followed by the Brown and Purple lines. While the most expensive station is on the Red Line, its median is below $200, when you factor in prices towards the far south and far north.

Interested in diving into the data a little more deeply? With our thanks to DNAInfo, here are the top 10 L stops near the most expensive homes in the city:

Stop name

Median sale price

Price per square foot

Grand (Red)



Merchandise Mart









Chicago (Red)









Lake (Red)









And lowest priced per square foot:

Stop name

Median sale price

Price per square foot

Halsted (Green)






63rd (Red)



Cicero (Blue)



69th (Red)



Pulaski (Blue)



Cicero (Green)



Laramie (Blue)



King Drive (Green)



Garfield (Red)



Wherever you’re looking for real estate in Chicago, the Real Group team is here to help! Drop us a line today to get the conversation started!

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